Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Same sale, brings a smile to one's face.

Colonel Alexander Gardner

At the risk of treading on the Sartorialists toes I give you:

'Colonel Alexander Gardner (1785-1877) dressed in tartan and looking the part of an eccentric Mahraja. He became Colonel of Artillery under Ranjit Singh, avoided confronting British Forces in the Sikh Wars and then served at the Mahraja of Kashmir from 1846.'

He can be bought - along with other as yet unseen images - from Dominic Winter Book Auctions for the princely sum of 5-7000K

How I love a turban.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009


What's more they made £55,250 against a 4- 600 k estimate.   More shall no doubt be heard about them!

Sezincote II

Sezincote have their own website with a decidedly Indian slant to their photographs - click the first word - but the garden is not well represented.   I'm also going to have to dig out my dissertation and see what else I have forgotten.........   Thinking about it, after certain elements in the garden were stolen (I had a hand in their return) this is hardly surprising.

These pictures are from the now seemingly defunct

Again, train of thought takes over and I've noticed that snake - that's not to say I hadn't spotted it before - but it reminds me of this pair of snakes in bronze that I viewed yesterday at Sothebys about which I have a theory

They are, uncatalogued, the newel posts of a staircase......   Basically the bannister would have run through the middle of the curled tail and come to rest in the pit above the eyes of the snakes head.


This table courtesy of Christies and a forth coming sale leads me to this

The spectacular and truly unexpected Gloucestershire pile built by Samuel Pepys Cockerell in the early 19th century.   Onion domes, jali screens and nandi bulls abound - my absolute favourite house on the island.

It sits perfectly on a rise with a perfect dropping hill into which Humphrey Repton designed an Indian (ish) landscape.   The drawings and watercolours of the Daniell brothers were definitely referred too as they were for the design of the house itself.   Not content with such greats of the period, Mrs Eleanor Coade was also employed to supply statuary for the gardens.   Joy and rapture.   More pics are promised. 

Friday, 25 September 2009

For the Eyes Of Pigtown Design.

Maybe a little less over-grown!!!

In relation to the discussion of the perfect front wall

Thursday, 24 September 2009

New Website

I am increasingly aware that this blog is veering from the original path; this is a) due to my web designer disappearing to NYC (and being a wee bit hectic / lacking sufficient stimulus from me) and b) because it has become an interesting ground to mull over ideas, projects and purchases.   However, we are getting there with the site and I'm promised a soft launch in ten days or so.....I also need to get up to speed with Wordpress between now and then.   Here's the homepage

Emily Allchurch

Lost Horizon (After Etty)
Winter Landscape (After Friedrich)
Outlook (After Claude)
Setting No.3 (After Claude)
Setting No.2 (After Canaletto)
Ideal City (After della Francesca)
Setting No.1 (After Claude)

From Newton to Allchurch by way of.......

This is a work - after Algernon Newton - by an artist called Emily Allchurch who I discovered after a friend bought an earlyish work by her 5 or 6 years ago.   She achieves the same unsettling calm as Newton in her large-scale transparencies mounted as light boxes.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Algernon Newton

The Bracegirdles remind me too of the works of Algernon Newton (1880 - 1968) who had a similar ability to unsettle the viewer - difficult to describe but they have the effect of suggesting that a great event has either just happened or will any minute:

Image courtesy John Adams Fine Art

Charlotte Bracegirdle

Further the painting in the Handegan interior, I thought I would post a few of Charlotte Bracegirdle' images as a reference, it seems unlikely that the work in Charleston is by her and it is a prime example of there never really being an original thoughts.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Amelia T. Handegan

I generally feel I'm up to speed with the World' decorators but every so often someone steps into my path and smacks me hard in the face and Amelia T. Handegan is the most recent decorator to take a swing.

Great use of space - oh to be a child again - simple, refined and best of all, I've a similar space!
Half shutters but slim and considered - nice touch, hanging the small portrait from them - near immaculate upholstery on the armchair and I like the painting, similar to Charlotte Bracegirdle's works, which shall soon be added to our collection.

Amelia T. Handegan

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Tickled me

Potterton Books - World of Interiors

The tempting little literary emporium just round the corner from me just sent out this email - for the slight sum of £950 to full run of Interiors can be yours.

If only this had come a few years back before we started piecing a collection together from junk shop and Oxfam finds.

However, still on the subject of Potterton Books we took delivery of a ready made library last night - well it has extended my already bursting at the seems collection by another 4 feet - the result of dear dear friends buying books for our wedding presents; oh happy joyous day!

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Arriving 20 odd minutes later at..........

From the Country Life Library
Country Life Picture Library

Privately owned and therefore I'm not really in a position to name but utterly utterly wonderful.   The position is spectacular, the terrace in the first picture looks directly over to Florence where we had dinner:

The house was open to peruse and a Mannerist gem it is - I shall oh & ah further after lunch.

St. James' Florence

Piping hot in tails but a delightful (& tearful) service none-the-less.   Mrs OTL admirably lead the Bridesmaids and I croaked through a variety of hymns.

On to the buses with family and off out of the Porta Romana..........

Been reading but incapable of posting.

Why?   You may well ask......   I might even have to resort to pictures as words.

We have just spent a long weekend in Firenze as Bridesmaid (not me!) and Usher (Groomsman) to very very dear friends.   It went something like this:

Wednesday night - a late arrival - at Casa Guidi the apartment owned by Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning in the Nineteenth Century and now part of Eton' portfolio (available through the Landmark Trust).   This sits nearly next door to the Pitti Palace and is a great striking point for the city.

Thursday morning - we slept in bunk beds which was novel -up lateish and off to the Horne Museum a little known collection put together in the Nineteenth century by an Englishman and housed in a Palazzo on Via dei Benci.   Incidentally Mrs Off the List loves the Osteria dei Benci, which is nearly directly opposite - better for dinner.

The Horne has a perfect collection of both furniture and paintings:

Piero di Cosimo, St. Girolamus.   XV Century
16th Century Games Board
16th Century Coffer
The courtyard grills - carved from the solid they had the feel of Indian jali's - utterly wonderful details that one really shouldn't notice.
The courtyard wall - the bust had the feel (though a poor little sister) of Bernini's Costanza Bonarelli.........sort of.

We then trecked across town to take out the in-laws for lunch before having a quick scoot around the plaster cast studio beside Charles Cecil's Drawing schools called the Galleria Romanelli

You cannot take photographs but this gives you a hint

The afternoon saw us move into our spectacular hotel on Santa Maria Novella JK Place which was where the brides party was all put up - very spoiling!

All the above was mere fore-play mind you..........

On Friday morning (after rather a serious dinner) with a sore head we met at the feet of David for a guided tour around the Uffizi where the essentials were discussed in depth - it's been many years since my days of Art History and whilst I was superbly taught, the lady who took us around the various Botticelli's etc was a marvel - it's now suggested that Botticelli's Birth of Venus

was in fact designed as a banner for a jousting tournament!   However it was the sculpture that really grabbed me (though no one else it seems) whether Renaissance or ancient I just love marble (an interesting sale is coming up in the next few weeks which shall have to be discussed).   I digress............midway through our tour & all of a sudden a large pair of doors are thrown open revealing a descending staircase

The VASARI CORRIDOR!   Just fifteen of us........

What I was not aware of was that in 1993 the Mafia placed a bomb outside the Uffizi (and various other sites in Italy) which tore the heart out of the landing from which the above photograph was taken near destroying a number of Caravaggio's - these have been left as a reminder of the event.

The corridor is impressive in concept but lacking in quality content however it has the feel of a true interior as opposed to a curated interior - you get my gist?

Another patch of vandalism occurs at the central point on the crossing over the Ponte Vecchio.   The corridor is lit with grilled port holes along its length except at the middle of the Arno where Mussolini and his legions decided that a diminutive visitor from central Europe ought to have a view down the river without peering through one of the holes that had, for centuries, been good enough for Medici' and Popes alike.   Ggrrrrrr.

The unspoilt run of windows.

Mussolini's unbroken view
Interior porthole

We finished at the Pitti Palace.

More to come..............